"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How to Put More "GO" Into Your Goal Setting

Can you believe that 2013 is right around the corner?

            As a writer, where will it find you?

A). Celebrating an array of accomplishments from 2012 and optimistic about the future

B). Stuck---Lamenting over how little you got done and suffering from the “should-haves-would-haves”
C). Happy with your progress, yet not where you want to be...

What dreams do you envision next year?
  Next month even?

Whether you aspire to write that steamy love novel, win a prestigious literary award, or operate a full-time freelance business, establishing goals should be a part of your game plan.

Here’s why:

• Goals serve like a road map to help navigate your direction and have fewer detours on the road to success—if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get there?

• Goals keep us mindful and accountable. Without them, often times we’re just “winging it,” which causes us to work harder, not smarter.

• Goals help us to stay focused amid the daily demands and “distractions” of life.

• Goals, once achieved, give us a greater sense of accomplishment and empowerment. And there’s great truth to the adage, “Success breeds success”.

Now that you know the “Why,” here's the 4-1-1 on “How” to achieve more through goal setting:

1. Buy a pretty journal from your local Dollar Store or stationery shop. Or create a spreadsheet on your computer. There's really no right or wrong approach here; do what works best for you.

2. Brainstorm.

3. Make a list and check it twice. Don’t worry about how grandiose or ridiculous it may appear on paper. It’s okay to dream big, until the universe tells you otherwise. :-)

4. Divide your aspirations into short term and long term goals. For example, my short term goal would be to expand my client base for next year. My long term goal is to produce a book on relationships or creative writing. I'd say a short term goal would be anything that can be executed within six months or less.

5. Identify (and address) any needed resources or obstacles to achieving your goals.

6. Establish a deadline. Studies show that you’re three times more likely to achieve your goals if they’re written down, with a designated deadline.

7. Revisit your goals periodically--whether it's once a month or once a quarter, (to assess status). And stay encouraged!

8. Allow for flexibility. Things happen. According to Moira Allen, author and Writing World editor, "The most delightful thing about goals is that you can change them. They're not graven in stone."

With this in mind, why not start setting your goals today, for a better writing future?

 Recommended Resource:
The Magic Lamp: Goal setting for people who hate setting goals-By Keith Ellis
Order it at Amazon.com.

How about you?
Do you set goals for your writing career each year?
In the words of Dr. Phil, "How's that workin' out for ya'?" Do share.

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net


  1. Thanks for this post,

    Because I was inclined to answer your question with C, only from my Success Journal I just assembled a list with some of my - 2012 Achievement Highlights - and now realise that I also have a modest array of actual achievements, so now it's both - A & C - :)

    I created - a Vision - I also wrote a tiny little - Vision eBook - about it, that also got some actual buyers. (you can find it on my blogs about page) It helps as a guiding principle, and can Inspires to set goals.

  2. H.P.,

    Thanks for starting us off here. I hope you have many more "achievements" in 2013!

  3. I'm in a similar boat with HP. I could be A & C, but I'm going with C because I'm really just starting.

    I love setting goals, but in the past I have failed at number 7. I don't monitor my progress toward my goals or really do any checking in to see which ones I've accomplished. I get excited about writing them down, but then I never return to them.

    That's part of my resolution this year. I'm going to keep track of my progress toward my goals and celebrate when I reach milestones.

    Great post!

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for adding to our "chat". :-) I applaud you, to some extent, for not "over-monitoring" your progress and worrying. Which I have a tendency to do sometimes. The pressure to succeed can be great, depending upon our mindset and status. But, balance is crucial here.

    1. Yes, I do think
      that - Over-monitoring -
      can be a real waste of time,

      For example when I started blogging I was constantly mainly checking my visit counter and my ebook sales, while hardly spending time on any of the actual productive tasks.

      On the other hand, it's also my experience (in Sales), that sometimes with focussing to much on only very specific goals, there is a risk of becomming less flexible. Sometimes it can be a risk of missing big opportunities that way.

      Because it's my experience that when I feel pressured to succeed, you might feel that I am only looking at what I want to achieve instead of paying attention to what you want to achieve. While with just being relaxed having a little fun, just being helpfull and 'chatty' it's sometimes possible to discover bigger opportunities, and I might get inspiration for even bigger goals.

      Also it's my experience that people are much more inclined to buy something from me when I am Happy and 'chatty' :)

    2. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 26, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      Good feedback, H.P. :-)

    3. In previous comments on previous blogposts, I wrote about how in business frequently things are about a little bit of - Both - ....,

      I do believe that also with Goal Setting this might be the case. Not focussing to much, and not to little. I do believe that I actually could use a little more focus, with a little more specific - Smart - goals. that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and with a Time Path.

      For example I am thinking about creating some improvements, 1) creating more readers participation,
      2) getting to know my readers better, 3) provide better more 'Tailor Made' blogposts & resources, and offers to (pre) sell on my blogs.

      For nr. 1 I already started with creating better 'Interlinking' using better Anchor texts to make you as a reader more curious about other posts your might want to read and things like that.

      I also have several other ideas for it, so feel free to have a look, at the Most Popular List, the FAQ page, and in the Archive you can see that there are already - more than 100 posts - you can read, and when I see some more readers participation, I might even write some - Crispy Fresh - new posts :)

      (Btw. I recently did actually write a new post on my Home Business blog, since there already is a little more readers participation.)

    4. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 30, 2012 at 4:33 AM


      Sounds like you've been doing a lot of thinking here; good for you! I really hope that all your efforts bring the readership you desire and deserve. Thanks for sharing.

    5. Yes, and not confine myself with only thinking about it, I am also actually doing things like for example better 'Interlinking' using better Anchor texts, to be able to 'Stir up' and draw attention to some of the Archived Content that's already on it, since the Goal is to get more Readers Participation.

      Because while I do see a pretty amazing visitor growth, a decreasing Bounce Rate, and an actual increasing amount of Return Visitors, the Readers Participation on the Writers Blog with Readers writing Comments & Replies still has plenty of room for improvement.

      I do believe that it's also a two-way street, when I get more Readers Feedback I can get to know the readers better, and also might be able to provide better more 'Tailor Made' content.

  5. Setting deadlines - real or imagined - is crucial for completing goals. And that's where I had to grow this year. Last year, I had projects just lingering because I had to set time to complete theme. That became very frustrating.

    For 2013, I will be more consistent in submitting queries to magazines; calling bigger corporations for freelance writing assignments; and be laser-focused on selling my book, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger's Block. Secondary projects include writing more niche books.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share. And blessings on attaining your goals.

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 26, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Hi Marcie,

    Thanks for stopping by and weighing in. I think that setting goals and deadlines proves problematic for many writers. Here's hoping we'll all have a great year of progress and profit in 2013!

  7. Years ago when I was a newbie, I walked into a writer's meeting in January and as directed, wrote my goals for the year: 12 publications, six for payment, six for publication clips. So green was I, but I made some green that year because I attained my goal.
    I work with a goal of seven: I must submit at least seven per month. Yes, setting goals is important for someone like me who works best under pressure.

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 27, 2012 at 4:10 AM


      This explains why you're so prolific! :-) But, you and I are definitely different when it comes to the "pressure" thing. I don't prefer it...

      Thanks for chiming in here. :-)

  8. Stopped by the other day but wasn't able to finish reading this post. Now that I have, I'm glad I did. :) Thank you, as always, for your insight and encouragement. Off to buy a pretty notebook and set a few more goals!

    1. Jennifer Brown BanksNovember 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM


      You go girl! Wishing you much success and a lot of "pretty" writing ahead. :-)

  9. Hello Jennifer

    I'm not an author myself, although I do work with authors.

    Your article is useful for not just authors, but for people like me running our own businesses. It is so easy to lose sight of our objectives and become distracted. Setting clear goals is not just good on an organisational front, but it is very inspirational too. I do think it is important to celebrate when we achieve our goals though, that's the trade off for all the hard work in getting there!

    I shall certainly be returning to your blog in the future.


  10. Jennifer Brown BanksDecember 5, 2012 at 11:24 AM


    Lovely to hear from you today; I really appreciate your input and your time. I look forward to future visits. :-)

  11. With my goal setting I usually don't work with a strict Posting Schedule or Deadlines. Because I don't really like it that way, and it feels like 'Lack-Thinking' to me.

    Because there are already plenty of Blogs, Posts & Resources you can discover on my blog(s) that you could spend all day reading when you like! :)

    (Also when I see any special readers requests
    from you, that can Inspire me, I can alway's decide to steer towards producing a little more content
    in such a specific direction.)

    Also I don't like to write posts from Frustration, I want to write them from Inspiration and guided by
    - a Vision - because I do believe that way you get
    - Exclusive & Inspired - Posts.